A sharp reduction in the normal growth rate in individuals is known as stunted growth. Though it may happen naturally, it can also be a result of malnutrition, diarrhea, infections, etc.
It may also result from the malnutrition of the mother during the development of the fetus. It often results in the following complications:
- Premature death
- May affect mental development and growth
- It is believed to be hereditary with the danger of passing on to future generations
The following are some reasons for stunted growth:
- Poor maternal nutrition: A child requires utmost care after the birth and while the child is in the mother's womb. Poor maternal nutrition and insufficient consumption of breast milk are considered as important reasons that result in stunted growth in children.
- Sanitation: The household's sanitation is considered as a factor that can affect the growth of children. Poor sanitation facilities often lead to lack of appetite and breakout of diseases like diarrhea which consequently leads to the stunted growth in children.
- Malnutrition: This is considered as one of the major reasons that cause stunted growth in children. Children need proper nutrients and the lack of it adversely affects the growth of children. It is due to this that cases of stunted growth in children are mostly found in poverty stricken areas and family.
- Hereditary: Hereditary reasons have found to influence stunted growth in some children. A family that shares history of delayed growth often continues to produce children who are not sufficiently developed with respect to physical structure.
- Use of drugs by mother: Stunted growth in children is as much reliant on external circumstances as it is on the mother. If the mother has a history of using illegal drugs, alcohol or smoking for a long period of time it has often been seen to result in underdeveloped children.